On the fidelity of DNA replication. Mechanisms of misincorporation by intercalating agents.


Two distinct mechanisms of action for intercalating agents have been ...
Two distinct mechanisms of action for intercalating agents have been delineated: one leading to the production of frameshift misincorporations and the other leading to the production of single-base substitutions. Addition misincorporations are competitive with respect to DNA template (a measure of classical intercalation) but are not competitive with respect to deoxynucleotide substrates. Single-base substitutions are not competitive with template, polymerase, or deoxynucleotide as tested individually, but are proportional to the absolute drug concentration, indicating a ternary complex involving intercalator, polymerase, and template. Increased frequencies of single-base substitutions have not been considered as a general property of intercalators. Using a mutant phi X174 DNA, we demonstrate that intercalators also induce single-base substitutions with natural DNA templates. Reversion of am3 phi X174 DNA occurs only by single-base substitutions at position 587; this is increased 8-fold when the DNA is copied in vitro in the presence of intercalators.




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